Off-Campus Student Services
Searching for Housing
Students searching for fall, spring, or summer housing should plan ahead for their moving needs and make priority checklists before looking at an apartment and signing a lease.
Most students are interested in September leases, which start to become available in mid-March. Below are some resources to help you get organized for your search and moving day:
- Apartment Hunting 101
- Frequently Asked Questions
- How to Spot and Avoid Scams
- MA Attorney General's Office Student Renters Guide
- Boston Rental Housing Center's Good Neighbors Handbook
- Apartment Abbreviations Guide
- Apartment Search Worksheet
- Renting and Moving Checklists
- Budget Worksheet
- Tenant Rights and Responsibilities
- Landlord Rights and Responsibilities
- Street Occupancy and Moving Permits
- Sample Lease Agreement
Roommates and Subletting Opportunities
There are several resources available for finding potential roommates as well as short-term or long-term subletting opportunities throughout the city:
OCSS Listings: Students and individuals outside Emerson can post open apartments or rooms here, and postings are approved by our office. Each listing provides contact information so students can follow up on places they're interested in. Look for the "add it now" link towards the bottom of the page to post your own listing.
ProArts Connect: Emerson is part of the ProArts Consortium here in Boston, and this website has a housing page where students from participating schools can post that they're looking or subletting. This website provides a larger pool of options given the number of schools that are included. You can make an account with your Emerson email address.
Facebook Housing Page: This is an Emerson-approved Facebook group. You'll see students posting about room openings and that they're looking for a place. You can gain access to all Emerson Facebook groups with your school email address.
OCSS Roommate Database: This database was originally formed for students taking part in our Summer Apartment Workshop series, however we have recently opened it up earlier to assist current and incoming students to reach out to each other. Students have the opportunity to contact/be contacted by any other student on the list to determine if they may be a good fit.
Short-Term Rentals: There are a number of short-term living opportunities throughout the city of Boston for consideration.
Where to Live
Consider researching the neighborhoods in which you are searching for an apartment:
- Boston Neighborhoods: Check out our guide to the most popular neighborhoods for Emerson students.
- Get Your Walk Score: The Walk Score website measures an apartment's accessibility to restaurants, stores, and transportation.
- MBTA Crime Stats: See crime statistics for areas, based on T stop location.
- Trusted Realtors By Neighborhood (Google Map)
Cost of Living
Expect to pay between $700 and $1,400 a month for rent, utilities, transportation, and food. Most students live with at least one roommate to offset the high costs of off-campus living.
Know Your Priorities
- How far is the building from public transportation, grocery stores, pharmacies, etc.?
- Is there an excess of noise? (Traffic, tourists, trains, sirens, bars, etc.)
- What social/nightlife is nearby?
- How long will it take you to commute to campus? Will you be walking alone in your neighborhood late at night?
- How much work will be done/needs to be done before you arrive?
- Are appliances and utilities in working condition?
- Are there enough electrical outlets?
- Does the building have a security system?
- Boston Inspectional Services
- Boston Rental Housing Center
- City Services Reporting BOS:311 Website and App
- What utilities, if any, are included in rent?
- Is there a dishwasher?
- Where are the closest laundry facilities?
- Who has thermostat control?
- Is there adequate closet/storage space?
- Which cable provider, if any, do you have to use? (Some parts of Boston must use specific cable providers.)